Markus Lupfer is using his intimate knowledge of the fashion industry to debut a women’s shoe collection this fall.
The London-based designer, known for simple apparel looks with irregular elements, or as Lupfer describes it, “using unusual materials for really simple shapes,” has garnered buzz and a celebrity following that includes Rihanna, Beyoncé and actress Leighton Meester since relaunching his eponymous line in 2010. And the playful humor seen in his ready-to-wear similarly transcends to his 29-piece footwear collection.
“Bit by bit, I put more into my footwear,” said the German-born Lupfer, who has previously collaborated on footwear with such firms as Asos.com. “We do little embroideries on the shoes and some eccentric elements in the range. I wanted to combine materials to create exciting daywear, so I just designed footwear like my ready-to-wear collection.”
For his shoe offering, Lupfer sought to create a line that would be accessible to a broader audience. “What was very important to me was that it had to have a strong quality, but the price point has to be really affordable,” he said. The average price for the collection will fall between 200 and 350 pounds, or $300 to $528 at current exchange. The line includes a range of pumps, pony-hair ankle booties, flat oxfords and patent sneakers. A standout style, Lupfer noted, is the black leather bootie with embellished polka dots. “It’s feminine, but it’s also a bit tougher,” he explained.
The line already has landed accounts with Colette in Paris, Harvey Nichols in London, Net-a-porter.com and the German online e-tailer Emeza.de.
Looking ahead, Lupfer said, he’s considering his own stores. “At the moment, we’re wholesale, but we’re doing a strategy about retailing,” he said. “We’re in discussions to open Markus Lupfer shops.”
Exciting daywear, such as Lupfer’s existing ready-to-wear collection, influenced the footwear line. “It came up quite naturally because of my [other work],” said the designer.
A graduate of the University of Westminster, Markus Lupfer made a name for himself with his eponymous label before becoming design director at Spanish fashion house Armand Basi in 2006. In 2010, he reintroduced his apparel collections — which now include men’s — at London Fashion Week.
“We find in Markus Lupfer’s first shoe collection the same touch of humor that’s in his ready-to-wear collection. It’s a cute [line], young and fresh,” said Sarah Andelman, buyer for Colette in Paris.